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The Switchboard: Heartbleed will slow the Internet, hurt Android users


(REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski)

Published every weekday, the Switchboard highlights five tech policy stories you need to read.

'Game of Thrones' sets new Torrent swarm record. "The latest episode of Game of Thrones has broken the record for the most people sharing a file simultaneously via BitTorrent," according to TorrentFreak. "More than 193,000 people shared a single copy yesterday evening, and roughly 1.5 million people downloaded the episode during the first day."

Vicious Heartbleed bug bites millions of Android phones, other devices. "Handsets running version 4.1.1 of Google's mobile operating system are vulnerable to attacks that might pluck passwords, the contents of personal messages, and other private information out of device memory, a company official warned on Friday," Ars Technica reports.

Bidding rules become clearer for upcoming airwaves auction. "Federal officials plan to reserve up to a third of licenses sold in a TV airwaves auction next year for smaller wireless carriers under a plan floated recently by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler," Re/code reports.

Heartbleed is about to get worse, and it will slow the Internet to a crawl. "Undetected for two years, the bug quietly undermined the basic security of the Internet," I write. "But on top of all that, security researchers have now confirmed that Heartbleed could have been used by hackers to steal sensitive data needed to set up fake Web sites posing as legitimate ones."

Netflix streaming speeds see major boost after Comcast payouts. "Less than two months after coming to a peering arrangement with Comcast where it agreed to make regular payments to the cable giant to ensure high-quality streaming for its customers, Netflix reported that average streaming speeds have surged by 65 percent on Comcast’s network," according to BGR.

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on telecommunications and the Internet. Before joining the Post, he was the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic.
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